Affordable Care Act and the Marketplace

The Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program provides health insurance enrollment help as a partner for Maryland Health Connection, the state’s official health insurance marketplace under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA).

Maryland Health Connection is the only place where Marylanders can access financial help such as tax credits to make coverage more affordable. provides a single application to enroll in Medicaid or get financial help with a qualified health plan.


What do Health Insurance plans cover?

All qualified health plans sold through Maryland Health Connection (except Catastrophic plans) provide the same core benefits and offer free preventive services.

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospitalization
  • Emergency care
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Pediatric care, including dental and vision benefits
  • Prescription drugs
  • Laboratory tests
  • Mental health care
  • Substance abuse treatment

Plans also cover preventive care, for free. Plans through Maryland Health Connection cover preventive services like checkups, shots, and screenings at no extra cost, even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible.

More information can be found on: Choosing a plan or What do plans cover?




The impact of the Affordable Care Act on Maryland:

Hundreds of thousands of Marylanders have gained coverage, and millions more have had their coverage substantially improved. The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange has continued to make significant progress toward providing accessible, affordable health coverage through the state marketplace. More than 1 million Marylanders are now covered through Maryland Health Connection.


Maryland Successes: 

  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the uninsured rate in Maryland has been cut in half – from 14.5% in 2010 to 6.6% in 2015.
  • 745,000 Marylanders lacked health insurance pre-Affordable Care Act. Now, more than 1.2 million Marylanders are now insured through the marketplace, including most of the state’s Medicaid enrollments.
  • Nearly 158,000 Marylanders enrolled in Qualified Health Plans for 2017, and more than 50,000 individuals enrolled in dental plans (an increase of 69 percent from 2016).
  • In 2017, Maryland was fifth-best in the nation among young adult enrollments (18- 34), up from 9th in 2016. It was 3rd best in the nation in percentage of new enrollees in 2016.
  • The Lower Shores 2016 uninsured rate is:

o   Worcester County:  5%, a decrease of 9% from 2013

o   Somerset County:  7%, a decrease of 11% from 2013

o   Wicomico County:  6 %, a decrease of 10% from 2013

Data Retrieved from: Maryland Health Benefit Exchange (MHBE), Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), and Enroll America, Research, and Data. 



The Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program is provided by the Worcester County Health Department.WoCHD logo